5 Ways To Create Film Grain Effects in Adobe Photoshop

5 Ways To Create Film Grain Effects in Adobe Photoshop


How’s it going everyone, this is Chris from
Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial. Today I’m going to show you 5 ways to add
lovey grain textures to your photographs and artwork in Adobe Photoshop. In the digital age of photography the noise
from high ISO sensitivity is an undesirable addition to the image. ISO ruins the picture
by taking away the details with ugly pixel sized blotches of RGB colours. In contrast,
the sensitivity of film adds a kind of texture to the image as film grain, which has become
a nostalgic aesthetic of analogue photography. There are a few ways you can mimic the appearance
of film grain in Adobe Photoshop, which can help give your photos and artwork more of
an aged and tactile appearance. Some of the methods I’ll be showing offer similar results,
but the process is slightly different, so it’s handy to check them all out and see which
one you find most memorable. Most people’s go-to filter to add noise or
grain to an image is the basic Filter>Noise>Add Noise effect. If you check the Monochromatic
option it takes away the ugly ISO like dots, but it doesn’t look very convincing, it’s
basically just a scattering of perfectly formed pixels, so let’s take a look at some other
options. The Noise filter doesn’t actually look too
bad when you combine it with some additional steps to help fix some of the problems of
using that filter alone. One of those problems is that it’s applied destructively to the
image, meaning you can’t then go back and alter or remove the effect. Add a new layer above the image and go to
Edit>Fill. Choose 50% Gray from the dropdown, then change this layer’s blending mode to
Overlay. Right click on the layer and choose Convert
To Smart Object. This will allow you to go back and tweak the filter settings. Add the Filter>Noise>Add Noise effect
and choose a suitable figure depending how subtle you want your grain effect to be. The result it exactly the same as before,
but one additional step to make it a little more realistic is to add a tiny amount of
Gaussian Blur to take that hard edge off the grain pixels. Something between 0.5 to 1px
works great. The great thing about this method compared
to the original is you can go back and edit those values to fine tune the effect. We all know about the Noise filter in Adobe
Photoshop, but did you know there’s actually a Film Grain effect built right in too? Convert
your image to a Smart Object so it won’t be destructively edited, then go to Filter>Filter
Gallery. You can quickly find the Film Grain effect
from the list. This option has a few extra settings than the basic Noise Filter, but
it still lacks some realism. One of my favourite methods of adding realistic
film grain is via the Camera Raw Filter. This toolset it great for processing your image
in general, but there’s a certain set of effects that are reserved just for adding film grain. Convert your image to a Smart Object then
go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. You’ll find the grain settings in particular under the
FX tab. Here you’ll find some handy settings for the
Grain Amount, Size and Roughness, which you can fine tune to generate the perfect grain
effect for images of all sizes, which is often a problem when working on high resolution
images where those previous pixel basic noise effects can often get lost in the overall
image size. The unique texturing of the Camera Raw Filter
grain effect is one of the closest replications of authentic film grain. Being applied to a Smart Object means you
also have the option to fine tune or remove the effect altogether. Another filter which generates a more realistic
grain effect is any of the Blur Gallery options. In order to apply this you first need to add
a 50% grey layer above your artwork, otherwise the actual blur effect would affect your image. Since the blurring is being applied to an
empty grey layer it has no effect, but the additional settings under the Noise tab will
be visible against your original photograph. Here you also have the Amount, Size and Roughness
sliders to play with, which can also be balanced against the Blur amount. Then there’s one more technique you can employ
to add realistic film grain effects to your images, and that’s to overlay an actual film
grain texture. I’ll link to this fantastic set of Free Film
Grain Textures from Arkadzi Ulitski down in the description area. It contains a range
of realistic grain effect textures, ranging from subtle noise to some bright color burns.
The addition of dust and speckles really adds to the authenticity to give your images a
great nostalgic appearance. Once you’ve downloaded the pack, choose one
of the textures and open it in Photoshop. Press CMD+A to Select All, followed by CMD+C
to Copy and CMD+V to Paste it into your main document. Scale the texture to size if necessary
with the CMD+T shortcut for Transform. To allow the grain of the texture to be applied
to your artwork, change the blending mode to Screen from the darker textures, or Multiply
for the lighter textures. If the effect is too prominent, you can tone
it down by simply adjusting the opacity slider to choose between a subtle grain effect or
a heavily distressed print. So I hope this overview of techniques helps
you out. Let me know which one is your preferred method down in the comments, or share your
own secret recipe for creating lovely film grain effects. If you enjoyed the video or
learnt anything new a thumbs up would be appreciated, otherwise thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.

19 thoughts on “5 Ways To Create Film Grain Effects in Adobe Photoshop”

  1. Thanks! I always used the 2nd technique only because I got used to it, but now I know that the Camera Raw Filter technique is way better. Oh, I think you forgot to post the link to the textures.
    Great video!

  2. I just entered to listen to the way you say spoon graphics lol.
    But seriously though, your free resources bundle changed my life, it would be great if you made a 2018 edition

  3. I cant stress enough that I really like the content you put out. It is very valuable and usefull. Still I am not sure why not so many people know of it. I believe yours is a top tear design resource website. And just wanted to honestly say thanks for the effort to help others.

  4. You have a real talent for presenting and teaching through video. Thank you for your hard work and very effective instructions. Great channel!

  5. OR BETTER YET buy a 120 medium or 35mm film camera for a fraction of it's original cost, put a red filter over the light in your bathroom, get one of those little round developing canisters, the soup to go with it, some Kodak Tri-X . . . and have more grain FUN with a camera than you'll ever have with a DSLR Robot !!!

  6. the blur gallery option is my preferred method, though I didn't know about the gray layer that literally what I was forgetting lol

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